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  • Writer's pictureericleerisner

1.21.24


Rhythms Sermon Recap from 4.29.18
 

"Mining for Gold (Pt.2)"


TEXT: 1 Cor. 3:8-23; 1 Cor. 1:26-31; Rev. 1:3; Matt. 25

 

TRUTHS:


1. Believers will often find it difficult to remain faithful to the work and person of Christ during the changing ‘seasons’ of their lives. But believers remain faithful because it is right, not just because our faithfulness immediately benefits us. We must remember this reality and motivation during the seasons of our lives in which we are tempted to lower the level of our commitment and faithfulness.


2. There are (4) statements that get repeated in each of the letters to the churches in the Book of Revelation. The statements that get repeated are: (1) to the angel of the Church, (2) I know your works, (3) the one who conquers, and (4) he has ears to hear, let him hear.


3. Jesus knows what is going on in each one of His churches. He intimately knows our works, our hearts, and the hidden motivations that direct our lives. He desires to speak to each of His churches so that they can flourish, grow, and repent (when necessary). Jesus’ personal knowledge of His churches enable Him to direct our lives both personally and corporately. This helps us understand that true worship is being attentive and obedient to the voice of our Shepherd—Jesus.


4. What are the main themes that emerge from the Good Shepherd’s words to the churches in Revelation? It is important to understand these themes because they describe the work that Jesus is desiring to do in ALL of His churches. They reveal the lessons that Jesus is using this fallen world to teach us. The letter to Ephesus is training us to love, Smyrna is equipping us to suffer, Pergamum trains us to discern truth, Thyatira reveals the necessity of personal and corporate holiness, Sardis is steering us towards being authentic, real, and honest humans, Philadelphia teaches us to be missional, and Laodicea highlights the beauty of Christian fellowship.  


5. God isn’t primarily concerned with our happiness; He is after our holiness. This may sound unnecessarily harsh, but we need to remember that happiness and holiness are deeply connected. As we grow in holiness, our levels of joy and contentment increase.

Contrary to a lot of teaching that has been presented, when Paul mentions that our bodies are the temple of God he is not referencing physical wellness and unhealthy personal habits (smoking, poor eating habits, etc.). He is warning the children of God to not cause divisions in their local church. We become the temple of God when we gather, with each believer bringing a measure of Christ, and to have visible and invisible divisions among us will lead us away from the Lord’s blessing and favor.


6. Though our promised inheritance awaits us, we are NOT kings and rulers, yet. During the Church Age, which we are a part of, believers are referred to as “priests." What does that mean for us? We are to be committed to prayer and to rightly dealing with sin.


7. Believers can wrongly attach to people whom they consider to be “super-apostles." Humans are seemingly enamored with the slightest bit of charisma, and our flesh can subtly steer us to view and attach to the Kingdom of God in ways that will not produce ‘gold’ in our souls. How do the children of God locate and mine for ‘gold’ (and 'gold' can be understood as anything that sustains and feeds our souls)? It's not by attaching to super-apostles, but rather by attaching to the lowly, the broken, and the weak. We mine for gold when we care for and serve the lowly. Additionally, it is often the lowly and broken who God uses to deposit 'gold' into our hearts and lives. So, if you are haughty, you will miss out on the 'gold' that God intends for you to receive. God pays close attention to this and rewards believers who humbly understand this biblical truth.

 

TALK TO EACH OTHER:


1. What are some helpful things to remind ourselves of when we are in a season of life that tempts us to lower the level of our faithfulness? What can help believers through such seasons?


2. Can you remember and describe how Jesus "trained" you concerning a specific theme that is mentioned in Truth Four? Additionally, how might Jesus practically train a local church some of those lessons? Like, how would you assume He goes about training a church to be authentic (or any of the other themes)?


3. The NT calls all believers "priests." What does it look like, according to the NT, to rightly deal with sin? Both personally and corporately?


4. We can read about Paul's frustrations with the so called "super-apostles" in the Book of Corinthians. The people of Corinth seemed to be a part of the Kingdom of God but had become primarily attached to it in the wrong ways. How can we contextualize this so that we can understand what this would look like in our modern church age? In other words, how does this unhealthy spiritual practice seem to be taking place today?


5. The relationship between our happiness and holiness is complex and nuanced. How would you describe that relationship and how it plays out in our lives?

 

TALK TO GOD:


Pray as you feel led concerning the following areas:


- To rightly attach to the Kingdom of God so we are "mining for gold"

- To take seriously our call to priestly ministry

- That our church would be rightly trained concerning the themes that emerge from Jesus' letters to the churches in Revelation 2-3

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